16 Entertaining and Enjoyable Games For Bedridden Adults

By: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Being bed bound and having to look at the same 4 walls all day can be mentally draining. So, here are lots of games you can play with bedridden adults to entertain them… and let them know you care!

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No one wants to be bedridden. People who are bedridden for long periods of time quickly become bored and lose interest in life. It’s important to uplift and encourage such patients.

There are a lot of great ways to spend time with the bedridden patient and enjoy some fun games. The greatest gift that you can give to someone who is bedridden is your time. Spending time with them is very important to help keep their spirits up.

Many elderly enjoy games including puzzles, riddles, card games, and more. If you can spare even 30 minutes out of your busy day you’ll be rewarded by spending some time with someone who is bedridden.

Make a difference in someone’s day and take some time to play a game with them. Their smiles will be reward enough. So, roll up an overbed table right up to the bed and get started!

Here are some fun and enjoyable games to share with bedridden patients.

  1. Card Games: Many elderly love card games. They may have played bridge or pinochle with friends when they were able to be up and about. If you can gather enough people you can help continue this with them or you can enjoy card games that only require 2 players. Even a simple card game of cribbage or poker (use pennies, matchsticks, favorite candies, etc. for poker chips) is often enough for them to look forward to some time with you.
  2. Riddles: Riddles can be fun and it can help to have another person to bounce potential answers off of. Consider purchasing a riddle book and have a “Riddle of the day”. You can spend the time that you’re with the patient sorting through the riddle even if you are only in and out of the room during the day. While you’re not in the room the patient
  3. Play “Name That Tune”: Using oldies from the era of your patient, hum a few notes and ask the patient if they can remember that song and the title. You can do this in several ways and pretend you don’t know the name of the song and are wondering, or you can play a few notes and ask and take turns. Either way, it’s a fun way to pass some time.
  4. Jigsaw Puzzles: Work together on a jigsaw puzzle. This is a great way for them to work on fine motor skills and mental stimulation.
  5. Scrabble: You can easily place a scrabble board or other senior-friendly board game on a bed tray and take turns playing scrabble. It’s amazing how good some of the elderly are at this game!
  6. Monopoly: Just as above, you can easily place a monopoly board on a bed table and have a game of Monopoly. See who can own the entire board and have a fun time doing it.
  7. Television Game Shows: There are a wide array of television game shows that can improve one’s knowledge. A few examples are “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”, Jeopardy, Family Feud, etc. Make it a fun habit to sit with your elderly bedridden patient and watch one of these every day. See which one of you can answer the most questions. You may well be surprised at how much you and your patient know.
  8. Crossword Puzzles: Work a crossword puzzle together. You can ask the questions and your bedridden adult can help you to answer them. You can then record the answers (if they fit the squares) and continue on. This is a fun way to work a crossword puzzle. Magazine Agent offers a subscription puzzle book delivery service that I highly recommend.
  9. Chess: Chess is an ideal two-person game to play. Set up a chessboard on a bed tray and enjoy the afternoon. You can also come back to chess if it’s too taxing to play the game in its entirety.
  10. Solitaire: If you’re not available to spend time with the elderly, you can give them a bed tray with a deck of cards and they can play one of many fun solitaire games.
  11. Adult Coloring Pages: Grab some markers and an adult coloring book with flowers, birds, whatever the patient may love, and encourage them to be creative and color some pictures. This is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon and ideal if you’re not available for companionship.
  12. Play Pictionary: Take turns drawing pictures and see how long it takes the other person to guess what the picture is. Even if you’re not an artist this is a fun game.
  13. Rhyming: Play a rhyming game where everything has to be said in a rhyme. It can be a fun way to bring some laughter into the room.
  14. Yahtzee: Play Yahtzee together. This is a fun game and even young children can enjoy playing it with a bedridden grandparent or great-grandparent.
  15. Solve Some Cryptograms: There’s nothing like solving coded messages. This game can be done alone or together. There are many great cryptograms available online or you can find some fun books with cryptograms in them to enjoy.
  16. Play “Two Truths, And A Lie”: The premise of this game is the bedridden patient will tell you two truths and a lie. Your goal is to ask them questions until you can decipher which one is the lie. Take turns with this one, it is a fun way to pass the time.

RELATED: Gifts for Bedridden Adults

These games will be something to help pass the time and keep your bedridden patient occupied. Not all of these games will work for every bed bound person but you’ll be able to adapt many of them to the circumstances at hand.

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